Braden Holtby Image – Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

Braden Holtby may be done playing in the NHL but we still have a few Pro Reads from our lengthy in-person video session last season, and we don’t want to waste any insights from the Stanley Cup- and Vezina Trophy-winning goalie who read plays so incredibly well.


This time Holtby is facing a clear cut 2-on-1 against the Pittsburgh Penguins:

Looking at the freeze frame above, what do you notice about Holtby’s positioning relative to the situation? What stands out about the both the puck carrier and the passing option?

Is there anything there that might have you playing deeper, or flattening out that right leg to prepare for a cross-ice pass? Anything that would lead you to believe that’s a mistake?

What, if anything changes once you see defenseman Ryan Suter lay down on this play?


Like every rush chance, the speed of the attack matters, so let’s watch the entire sequence. See if you can identify Holtby’s set up keys, and how Suter laying out might change things?

Be sure to watch all the way to the end, paying attention to Holtby’s recovery as well.

OK, so that didn’t actually end with a save as the shooter missed wide on the short side (we in the Goalie Union would like to think it’s because he knew he had to be perfect with Holtby getting across so well). But it’s still worth talking about, and not just because it allows us to listen in as Holtby processes the rush chance. The evolution of his movement after the shot is an equally important part of this Pro Reads discussion.


Listen in as Holtby walks us through both parts of this play:

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